SEO for Wedding, Photography, Videography, Similar Niche Markets

Discussion 6: SEO Impact of Paid Vendor Directory Listings, We Have a Featured Listing on a Wedding Photography Vendor Directory

u/johnny

SEO impact of paid vendor directory listings

We are wedding photographers and we have a featured listing on a wedding vendor directory, www.TheKnot.com. This directory is massively popular and a tremendous number of other photographers in our area are also listed (and have the same backlinks). We pay a high amount for this listing – between $350 and $500 per month over the years. We aren't coming out ahead over the last 12 months through this lead source.
👉 Does a backlink and listing on The Knot give good SEO juice?
👉 Does having tags on the link reduce SEO backlink strength? The Knot links have "?utm_source=theknot.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=theknot"
👉 If a free listing and a paid listing have the same link structure, will we have any negative SEO impact by switching to a "free" account on The Knot?

Thank you for any input on this – we are taking a step back and analyzing how we are investing in our digital marketing, and thinking of moving towards other avenues besides paying so much for The Knot.
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Unicrndream
👉 For the most part, directories aren't too valuable for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They're too easy to come by and SEO people have abused it. $500/m for a link on a directory is almost never worth it for the SEO value alone. The directory should be sending qualified leads regularly. If not, drop it.
👉 No. Everything after the "?" Is usually ignored by search engines for ranking purposes (usually).
👉 Not because of the link structure but it can have an impact based on the page those links are coming from. For example if your paid link is from the homepage (which should have many inbound links) and your free link is on an obscure page (without many inbound links) then it could have an impact. This is assuming that it's dofollow in the first place.

johnny ✍️
Thank you for the insights!

I plugged the URL of our directory listening on The Knot into a few backlink checkers, and no site found an outbound link to our website.

Then, I inspected the link using Chrome inspect element and I see that the link is a nofollow link, and I think it's in a floating container Call to Action (CTA) box and not even on the webpage itself.

<a href="*link-redacted-on-Reddit*" title="website" target="\_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow"><svg class="icon–c40c9 size-md–2ae3b web-icon–12063 " tabindex="-1"><use xlink:href="#v2-icon-website"></use></svg>Website</a> == $0

So, wow. I don't think we are getting ANY backlink power or SEO juice from this directory.
We will reflect on the lead quality that we are getting, but for the last 12 months, it's not looking good from a cost benefit analysis.

Thanks again for sharing your insights here.

Unicrndream
Ah, a nofollow link. It's safe to assume the SEO value is close to zero. Though, I will say that Google amended its policies a few months back and nofollow links may, in some cases pass power, but not as much as dofollow links.

You're quite welcome and good luck.

XPhotoDesign
The reason these types of directories use a nofollow link is because they want to be at the top of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), even when someone searches for a specific business.

Google search results for "Joe Smith Photography Chicago" can actually show the directory result above the actual Joe Smith Photography Chicago website.

This is common in other industries as well, such as the psychology today website, where service providers need to be listed in the directory since clients will go often go there before searching on Google.

TLDR: It has no SEO value, and a directory listing on a large national site can outrank your home page on the Google SERP.

johnny ✍️
Thank you for this. Especially good note about the ranking order.

PuttPutt
Yeah i'm also on theKnot and weddingwire. These businesses are super predatory in that manner. I called them out on it during a call once and their response was "Google wouldn't like it" which is BS.

They just don't want to give anyone else the ability to rank higher than them. They also do this by pushing out their badges, which are marked up with Do_follow links back to the knot if you put them in your email or on your site.
XPhotoDesign
Yep. It's common practice for these sites to use "badges" to generate free back links from their paying customers. They are double dipping .
pixelshove
I work for a large directory site company and badges/award programs targeting small businesses have been insanely successful for us, in terms of companies featuring them on site/email/tv ads/Facebook/etc.

I have a feeling they aren't weighted that heavily for ranking though, but amazing for brand recognition. Sometimes they'll mention us in their company blog and such after.

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sdsquish
Keep in mind, Google requires that paid links have a nofollow.

Marketer for wedding photographers here – Most wedding sites don't follow this procedure though. They usually just add the regular link because they don't know better. From what I've seen, there isn't really any enforcement or punishment for not using a nofollow. If someone knows otherwise, I'd love to know!

Unless you're getting good leads, cancel The Knot's listing. If you're searching for backlinks, instead use the money towards paying someone to manage your submissions every month. That'll help with your back links if digital. Again, most publishers publish without a nofollow. Hope that helps!

johnny ✍️
Thank you! I didn't know that nofollow rule. Yeah, we are leaning towards canceling the Knot listing. And, good idea to work on backlinks through submissions. We have done some of that in phases over the years. We found some regional blogs only use dofollow links for vendors that pay for a sponsorship or runs ads on the blog. Otherwise, it's nofollow for non-sponsors. There's so much more to learn about SEO and I am perusing this particular Reddit a lot nowadays.

nicefroyo
If your listing has a lot of ratings, it could be boosting rankings while not directly impacting your domain authority. If you're getting no good leads from it but you can keep your profile up on an unpaid plan, I'd say go for that. I don't know enough about photography to say whether the amount you're investing is worth it.

johnny ✍️
Thank you. We are leaning towards dropping to a lower tier plan or free listing.

bbdba
A bit of a meta answer:

I know that is an uncomfortable questions, so drop it casually when you established some rapport, ask your clients how they found out about you. That will help you make a decision.

The price you pay justifies asking for the analytics regarding your listing. Maybe you can give them your own tracking link so they cannot tamper with the data.

johnny ✍️
Yes, absolutely love this idea. Lead source tracking is critical.

The Knot wedding directory has internal analytics that paid users can access, but, many photographers suspect that there are additional factors that they keep secret that influence their directory listing order.

SoulofGarlic
I use something called switchy.io for myself and clients. It's like a branded bitly but tracks analytics. Also, you can embed your Facebook Pixel and Adroll Retargeting tags. You could use it to track any campaign. Highly recommend.

edgarallanbro
As other users here have pointed out, paid listings provide nofollow links which Google has started to give credit to, but they're not as valuable as dofollow links.

Also keep in mind that one link from one directory, no matter the authority of that site, is not going to boost your rankings in any meaningful way. If you're listed in thousands of directories, you get a slight lift, but it's nowhere near as good as having say, content on other sites' blogs containing dofollow links to your site.

From both an organic marketing and linkbuilding standpoint, it wouldn't be a bad idea to forge relationships with local wedding venues, caterers, bands/DJs, and other wedding vendors. All of these vendors are bound to have websites, and I can nearly guarantee that they'd be willing to provide some sort of backlink if you link back to them as well. You want to be careful about having too many reciprocal links, but a few won't hurt.

Make sure to explore local area chambers of commerce \- some have .gov domains and free listing options for local businesses. Prompt satisfied customers to leave Google reviews. Make sure your GMB listing is verified and optimized.

I could go on \- I don't know what you may already know, but will say that paid directories are almost never a good idea unless you know full well that it's a place where the majority of your customers will be sourcing vendors and therefore will be a steady lead source for you. Otherwise, focus on playing the local SEO game and avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket.

johnny ✍️
Thanks for sharing all of this – good core values and key concept reminders!

reggeabwoy
I just looked at the site – a lot of their top keywords are not wedding related – Lot's of gossip and general stuff – https://www.theknot.com/content/jason-statham-rosie-huntington-whiteley-relationship
For $500 a month I would try a paid search campaign and see what happens
doombop
$500 a month is a huge amount to pay for a directory backlink and would only be worth it if they're sending more than that in new customers every month.

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Discussion 5: SEO for Photography Websites Adding Another Niche Not Related to Photography. Would That Hurt My SEO?

Alday
So, if my website is about photography, and I start including items not related to photography, would that hurt my Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

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Rienzi
Nope. but if you start linking to them from your photography pages then that might hurt your photography pages.
Hartzer
Yes it will ultimately hurt the site's rankings.
I worked on a law firm site, mesothelioma keyword rankings. Was ranking on first page for mesothelioma lawyer.
The law firm added a bunch of pages related to criminal defense, bad drugs, and some other topics. That hurt their mesothelioma lawyer rankings, pushed it to bottom of Page 2.
We put noindex on all the pages except for the mesothelioma content pages. Rankings came back, to page 1.
We got another domain and moved the other content to that domain.

Stephen » Hartzer
Good example!

Michael Martinez 👑
I've done multiple topics on many sites with no disadvantage for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It really comes down to how you structure the site and how you present the content.
Wikipedia is all over the place in terms of topics. It doesn't hurt for no. 1 rankings. But it's structured to be a diverse site – not "about" any specific thing.
Buth
In fact, Google and other search engines evaluate a whole website. On the other hand, search engines rank pages, not sites. You should create a logical information architecture of your site to help search engines "understand" content on each page.
Darren
Why not create a subdomain that focuses on content that's not related to your niche?

Truslow
Right – as Martinez points out – if you structure it right and do it with purpose, it doesn't hurt, but "expands" your realm of topics.
And as Hartzer points out – if you do it improperly, it can kill you. Even if the things are really in the same niche.
Keep it organized properly and have meticulous linking and structure. If you're just playing the "match the keyword" game, you're likely to lose. If you really understand SEO and how search engines work – you can make a site that ranks for anything and, potentially, everything.
Jody
As long as you are expanding the topics to topics that are some what relevant, for example. designing backgrounds, or creating sets, could be considered LSI keywords

Ammon Johns 👑 » Jody
LSI keywords are a nonsense, completely made up to sound scientific and fool people into buying tools. There is no such thing as LSI keywords, and the L in LSI always stood for 'Latent' the things not in words or deliberate action. In short, the very fact it is a keyword absolutely prevents it being 'Latent', and anything to do with LSI.
Not everything that includes the word Semantic has anything at all to do with semantic search, and LSI in particular is pure snake oil sold to the unwary. Just like Motorbike engines have nothing to do with search engines, and a civil engineer doesn't go around building people.
Jody
Interesting. We are talking about the same scope right? Chicken = Poultry type of deal?
Ammon Johns 👑 » Jody
Well, that would be semantics, or rather, semantically similar or co-occurring words, yes. But would be nothing at all to do with Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).
Now, if a tool provider were selling a tool that they simply presented as helping find related and co-occurring terms, kind of like an automated thesaurus (A thesaurus has done that exact same job of finding similar and related words for decades before there even was a world wide web), not resorting to fake mumbo-jumbo and lying to people right up front, I'm all for it.
In fact tools like inlinks ( https://inlinks.net/ ) does exactly that, but using actual search engine technologies, such as the Knowledge Graph.
LSI keywords, by contrast, are kinda scummy charlatans selling vapourware to the unwary.
Jody » Ammon Johns
Ahh, you know … I have misunderstood, LSI (true definition), I thought it was "Like Similar Intent"
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Ammon Johns 👑 » Jody
LSI was something a lot of people obsessed over for a while thinking it was like some secret sauce behind semantic search. I'm guessing such people had never come across the word 'semantic' before. 😃
But Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a system from the 80s and 90s, predating the web itself, and is best for a fixed corpus of documents that won't change much, and are less than about 20k documents in total. That's because you have to rebuild the entire index, recalculating ALL of the scores, every time you add even one new document. Its a useful system for indexing something like the diaries of Winston Churchill, or the correspondence of Mark Twain, where there's very little chance of them writing anything new. It is absolutely useless for anything changeable, or for anything especially large, and so doubly useless for any web search application.

Ahmed
It will be difficult to get ranking. As a new site but if your ate already ranking u can add but must be relevant to photography, camera,travel, so on.
Ammon Johns 👑
No.
But it may confuse your audience and thereby reduce the conversion rate of the site. The content would not likely draw in the right kind of inquiries. And the time spent on it would be an 'opportunity cost' on time that could have been spent creating content that would have driven business.

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Discussion 4: SEO for Wedding, Photography, Videography, Similar Niche Markets

Lou
RE: Link building for niche markets. I am a wedding DJ and if you've seen my past posts you'll know that I am doing well "locally" as Google defines it. But I need greater outreach, and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is way too expensive given my total revenue. So I am trying to find ways to maximize my organic potential. Seems that really will come down to link building.
But here is the problem. The wedding market (photographers, videographers, other vendors) is pretty small. I have a limited size network of "trusted pros" that actually do any type of blogging or some type of vendor link back area. Beyond that I have created some quality content that has been linked to, but again, it's generally limited.
So how can one build quality links in a niche market where trusted local pros don't participate much.
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Lou
I meet up with both DJs and some other wedding pros in the area (planners, photogs, etc). But since they don't do much with their web presences it negates the opportunity to link build unless they change their strategy.
I have a YT channel and of course link from there. I try to follow a pretty consistent social strategy. But where it really counts in link building, I have limited legit options. 😕

Brad
I'm saying create a meetup.com page for the link. Your niche is no different than other local service providers like plumbers, locksmiths, etc. Local service providers don't normally have local networks to use for link building. You gotta do some outreach to build links. That's the game.
Lou
Ah, yeah no one has leveraged meetup (as of yet). A good idea.

Andrew
Wedding venues, photographers, just be smart and think out side of the box

Lou
Maybe I need to clarify more in my OP. I am talking about the photogs, videographers, and the like. Most in this area are not maintaining blogs or pages for vendor references that make sense for linkbacks.
Venues, well really only way you get on venue's links is usually paying for them as a preferred vendor or getting in their very good graces. I am on a couple venue sites.
Andrew » Lou
There are loads of photo blogs, defiantly wedding blogs, or they are in the U.K.. remember these don't need to be super Search Engine Optimization (SEO) sites just super local sites to get the benefit
Lou
So I have been combing through all the vendors that I have worked with in the past. The most common being photographers. This is what I have discovered so far.
* A couple already linked to me in their blog posts. Huzzah.
* Some maintain a blog post, but they seem to post pretty random stuff, like some have big gaps, and those gaps are events I performed with them.
*Some maintain only a basic "Brochureware" site and anything beyond that is pure social. Not web.
*Some have nothing but "Brochureware".
I'm circulating though that list again to try to make sure I didn't overlook the low hanging fruit. Then I might send an email of "you know you should put more content with external links on your site" hoping to encourage them to participate a bit more.
Andrew
what about the wedding sites, there are hundreds of them, we recently did a PR piece to them for a client and got about 12 links, which it doesnt sound a lot it really helped with rankings and traffic
Lou
I already have vendor entries on a number like The Knot, Wedding Wire, etc. Most of those are nofollow links so that won't help much. I have sent to them a couple pieces of content to republish on their blog, but they did not exercise that.

Ian
If you;re looking to increase your Search Engine Result Page (SERP) presence for local terms don't limit yourself to businesses within your niche..
From a link point of view all local links are going to help improve your local relevance.
Apart from purely getting links if you're more widely interested in just bringing in the leads too then you have other options that do not involve getting a huge amount of links. If you're willing to travel a bit and have time to spare then I'd take a look at adding other websites into your portfolio to increase calls from long tail search terms
Some of the mass page builders and other softwares can add a fair bit of business over time..

Lou
Well this is where the fun begins </ Han Solo>
"Local" in the terms of what Google considers local I am fine. I am top of the snack pack. I still have to compete with the big magazine sites like Knot and Wedding Wire for Search Engine Result Page (SERP) but that is typical in the industry.
It's once you are beyond the 10 or so mile local zone is where I have problems. And for me the majority of my clients are not in this 10 mile local zone unfortunately. That is why I am trying to boost my overall organics so I get a better chance to get in front of someone.
I thought multiple domain linking and virtual offices were generally shunned by Google now. I got rid of most of my domains other than DJLouParis-dot-com which is my name, not the business name ParisCreative-dot.com.
Ian » Lou
I don't know about the US Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs but in the UK there are shedloads of terms that don't throw up a map pack. One or two sites at the top of those pages are fairly easy to put up and cover a wide geo area.
Lou
So for here the two most common terms for someone trying to find a wedding dj would be "wedding DJ" and "Hudson valley wedding dj" which both bring up the snack pack.
I have some descent placement for some particular long tails like "what does a wedding dj do", "wedding dj prices" and some equipment reviews for the wedding DJ community.
So my goal is to get an improvement on my two most common keywords.

Richard
Lou, other wedding professionals can be a good source of referrals. It is important to have a great working relationship with many of them. However, a few things of note:
1. In the order of importance, it goes like this… After the engagement, the first thing a bride shops for is the dress. Next up the venue. The venues see the couples early on during the wedding planning stages. Get connected and on the preferred vendor list at venues. Go out and personally meet the social director, catering manager, etc at each of the venues that are within you service area. Tell them you want to feature their venue on your website / blog. Have them provide photos that you can use to promote their venue. Do a blog post or create a section on your website where you feature each of the wonderful venues where you are on the preferred list or vendor list or welcome. 1 venue per page. 1 to three photos per page. Each keyword optimized for that venue name, city, state. Then as you do gigs at each of the venues, include some photos of the wedding (from the photographer and give credit as well) and post them on that particular venue's page. Be sure to optimize the page/post for the venue name, city, state.
2. You may want to consider doing some competitive analysis to see which keywords the buyers are actually using. Your website could benefit from a healthy dose of optimization help. It appears that you have several Google fonts loading which is slowing down your load time. Be sure to optimize all of the images too!
3. Getting found organically because of the venue association will help get you more exposure and business. Getting connected with the venue influencer will help get more direct referrals and be a long lasting referral source over time.
This really didn't answer your back link growth strategy, but you may pick up some backlinks from the vendors you are on the approved vendor list.

Lou
I agree, and I do with quite a few I have worked with. But getting them to link to me is a challenge as I noted above because many do not have the logical capability. Be it a blog that would include vendors, or even a preferred vendor list of their own. So many real potentials are lost.

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Discussion 3: Photography Site Issues

Slava
I had 150 visits to my blog posts in the last 30 days, but zero of those visitors became a lead. Is this normal or does this mean my blogs aren't good at converting visitors into leads? And how can I improve this situation?
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Muad
I think we can learn from google ads
Every 1000 impression might bring one click
So reach more
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Slava ✍️
Good point. I would think that blog readers have more intent to convert. I might be wrong though.
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Behzad » Slava
No. Visitors are just there to meet their search intent. It's the power of your lead magnet that gives them no option but to fill their email id….
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Slava ✍️
Oh, I see

Bill » Slava
, not enough information is given to give any type of educated reply.
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Slava ✍️
I have blog posts for different types of photography: https://www.slavablazer.com/blog
Our Blog | Slava Photography | Slava Photography
Greg » Slava
I browsed your site. I'm assuming you're doing technical SEO, etc? Looking at three or four pages I would get a second set of eyes on your site. Or, if you want to do it, look into technical SEO, on page, site structure, on page features, etc.
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Bill » Slava
So a few things, I don't know your marketing background so if this comes off as me talking down to you, I apologize in advance, I just don't know anything about you and want to give you some good info.
I assume that you are aware of the 3-5 sites that are ranking better that you for the main keywords you are targeting, how does your pages look compared to these ones? Are there any similarities that they have and you don't?
I've only looked at your site on mobile, and for a photographer site, its really underwhelming. Would you be able to have someone help you fix it if you had some ideas on improvements?
I'm assuming you have analytics and can see what pages people are visiting. When you look at the pages that people are finding you, is it the pages you want them to see? If not, what are you doing to get them from these pages to the ones you want them to see, or get them to take the actions you want?
On the pages that people find you on, is there a clear call to action that stands out? Are you giving them too many calls to action? People need 1 thing that stands out that tells them what you want them to do.
Do you have any type of lead magnet that you can use to get their emails? If you don't, I'd take a look at what others are offering and come up with some ideas.
I'm not asking these for myself, but hopefully to get you some ideas in things you can look at or possibly fix/improve upon. I hope this was somewhat helpful.
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Slava ✍️
I have guys doing backlinking, content writing, on-page optimization, sitemap. Not sure if I'm missing something else SEO wise.
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Slava ✍️
These are great ideas, thanks Bill! I'm currently getting around 2000 visits monthly visits to my site, 150 of them to my blog, around 50 leads and 20-30/monthly clients.
I have looked at top competitors ranking for desired keywords, but didn't know how to turn that into actionable insights besides seeing their headline and how many times the keyword is used in content, url slug, page title, etc.
I'd love some ideas on how to make it less underwhelming and yes I have a guy who can fix it. Not sure if you visited my homepage. It is www.slavablazer.com
Yes, I have Google Analytics installed and often check which pages people visit, how they're finding me and yes- they land mostly on service pages. I'd like to see if I can convert blog readers too into leads.
I have a call-to-action (CTA) in all service pages. I'm giving them several CTA buttons as they scroll but the CTA action is the same- to request a quote or learn more.
I have a lead magnet on some blog pages, but nobody ever opted in through them. Good idea to look at what competitors are offering. Thanks for all the tips! Appreciate it!
[screenshot]
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Carmine
Blog posts are top of the funnel, make sure you're offering some kind of lead magnet like an e-book, template, cheatsheet, etc. to their information and remarket to them in the backend
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Lecas » Carmine
exactly, Make Also sure They have a good Reason to leave their email address.
Also 150 is very honorable but it can be improved
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Slava ✍️ » Carmine
I'm offering this one, but it's not getting any options. Should I try a different lead magnet?
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Carmine
Definitely could test something like a style e-book, cheatsheet, etc. and see if that gets more opt-ins
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Slava ✍️
Thanks Carmine! So something like "Enter your email to receive an Ebook on How To Dress For Your Headshots?"

Gary
The success of conversions depends on so many things such as the specifics of your offer, the ease of use of your website and the source / targeting of your traffic too.
Just looking at traffic volume is very short sighted from an analysis point of view.
You’ll want to analyze where that traffic is coming from and what the intent of it is, then break down the pages they’re visiting and ask yourself if that offer is suited closely to those people.
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Slava ✍️ » Gary
Great, thank you!

Marie
Your other post said you wrote a blog post giving advice to other photographers
If you are a photographer other photographers are not your clients
But having posts like that should help your overall ranking
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Slava ✍️ » Marie
I don't think that was my post. I write all blog posts for my target audience.
Marie » Slava
who is your target audience, and who are your paying clients?
Slava ✍️
I offer various services so it varies- from realtors to actors to families, etc.

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Discussion 2: Photography Site Issues

Slava
I already ranked the main page for "headshot photographer", but I want to be found for other terms like "portrait photographer" and others. How can I show up for those terms? Do I need to create a duplicate page with this new headline/url/content/etc. or do I need to do blogging for this targeting my blog posts towards "portrait photographer" and having links to my headshot photographer landing page?
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John
New page, new content and yes, do up some blogs for relevant search intent related to the new keywords.
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Slava ✍️
Thanks John! Can I just duplicate my "headshot photographer" page and rewrite the headline/url/keywords/etc? Will I then need to have the link to this page visible in the menu somewhere or I can have it hidden and just found via Google and not via navigating the site?

Jason
Is the person searching for a "portrait photographer" searching for the same thing as the person searching for a "headshot photographer" or are the services they're searching for different enough they would require a new page?
Are there other "headshot photography" keywords and segments you could target that would be searched by someone looking for a "headshot photographer" they can book for a "headshot photography" session other than those searching "portrait photography" keywords as you suggest?
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Slava ✍️
Headshot and portraits would be the same page/same service. Yes, there are definitely other ones as well such as "professional portraits" and others.
Jason » Slava
incorrect.
Based on the keywords they are most likely to use when searching for a "portrait photographer", the person searching for someone to take a "portrait photograph" of them is searching for "self portrait photography", "black and white portrait photography", "outdoor portrait photography", "family portrait photography", "fine art portrait photography" and many other things related to the desired goal for getting a portrait photograph taken of themselves or their family.
Alternatively, when someone searches for a "headshot photographer" they can hire to book a "headshot photography" session, they're likely to search for "corporate headshot photography", "actor headshot photography", "realtor headshot photography", "Linkedin headshot photography" and many other things related to their desire to hire a photographer to take a headshot photo of them for LinkedIn or otherwise, either as a corporate executive, real estate agent, actor or otherwise professional.
Given the differences in their needs and the underlying differences among them as individuals (i.e. family members who wants a portrait photo compared to an employee or business owner who wants a headshot photo for business purposes), the needs, wants, desires, issues, concerns and problems motivating those searching for a "portrait photographer" will need to be addressed separately from those being searched by someone they can hire to book a "headshot photograph" session.
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Slava ✍️ » Jason
I 100% agree. I guess my question is if I create a separate page for "outdoor portrait photography", "family portrait photography" and others, can I just include a link to those pages in the footer? My navigation menu and homepage are already full.
Jason » Slava
depends. Is the person searching for "outdoor portraits" likely to want "outdoor family portraits" or are there enough keywords related to "outdoor photography" being searched by those looking for something other than "family portraits" they should be targeted with their own page.
Same goes with "family portraits" and the needs of those searching for someone to take "outdoor family portraits" of their family.
Aside from "outdoor family portraits", there are enough people searching for "indoor family portraits", "beach family portraits" and many of the other segments of demand related to "family portraits" beyond those related to "outdoor family portraits" that you'd likely want to create separate pages for "family portraits" and "outdoor portraits" to speak to the unique needs, wants, desires, issues, concerns and problems motivating them to search in the first place.
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Slava ✍️ » Jason
Wow, I didn't know there is so much complexity in SEO. Thanks for going in such detail. I will definitely create landing pages for all of these different keyword combinations. I guess my main question is, once I create a page optimized for a certain keyword, if I don't have this page under my Navigation or on the homepage, but only as a link in the footer, can I still rank it on the first page of Google? Or will I need to also write blog posts targeting the same keyword and linking to this newly created page to give it more SEO juice?
Jason » Slava
as long as Google can crawl it and index, it can rank it.
Only create blog posts if there is supporting content to justify it, otherwise focus on optimizing the landing page itself.
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Slava ✍️ » Jason
Awesome, thanks!
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Johnny
Do the pages first and then the blog posts, link to the pages from the blog posts using exact match anchor text (but make it look natural).
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Slava ✍️
Thanks Johnny! Can I just duplicate my "headshot photographer" page and rewrite the headline/url/keywords/etc for "portrait photographer" keyword? Will I then need to have the link to this page visible in the menu somewhere on the site or I can have it hidden and just found via Google and not via navigating the site? Headshot and portrait keywords would lead to the same service.
Johnny » Slava
Yeah exactly pretty much duplicate it do all the on-site optimizations. For quick results you can pretty much do duplicate content across all pages aside from the keywords. People will say duplicate content is bad but based on my experience this strategy works.
You can always add unique content or more content to make the pages even more stronger. But I suggest to make the pages as quick as possible for the fastest results and worry about improving the optimization over time as you track the results.
You want to link to the pages from your homepage and navigation for the most power. Your homepage passes a lot of authority to the inner pages. Navigational link is even better so put your most important pages there. The more pages you link to from the navigation or homepage the less influence it has.
Optimize the homepage for your hardest keywords it's the most powerful.
I recommend to have service pages that you link to from the menu, and also a services section on the homepage where you link to the service pages.
Setup search console so your site is crawled more regularly.
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Slava ✍️ » Johnny
Thanks for the detailed instructions, Johnny. Really appreciate it. I already have too many links in my navigation and on my homepage, so I wouldn't want to add another link to the same page since ultimately it will house the same photos. Can I include the link to the new "portrait photographer" page in the footer?

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Discussion 1: SEO for Photography/Photographers

Vicki
I am struggling with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I'm a photographer which is a saturated field anyway but my SEO game is weak 😂
What sort of price should I expect to pay for someone who knows what they're doing? Thanks!
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[filtered from 49 Answers]

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Cheung
To be honest with you Vicki. Anyone who is reputable with SEO is likely to be outside the budgets that a photographer can afford since we are almost always a micro business.
You'd be better off paying someone to train you up and then you can move it forwards yourself.
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Vetter » Cheung
I agree myself and partner have 18 years of reputable SEO experience. And it is usually outside a photographer budget
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Lee
Hi Vicki, I do SEO in my work as a Copywriter for an international franchise. Read this book, especially the 3 month blueprint at the back. Then you can either do it yourself or you will know who to hire as you'll have a clearer understanding of what SEO involves. I'm not trying to sell anything and I'm not on commission for the book. Good luck. All the best, Jai
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seo for photography photographers
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Goyal
Hi Vicki ,
There are all sorts of SEO users and SEO companies available in the SEO market among which only a few knows about what really Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is and how to rank a website using white hat SEO tactics.
There are reputed companies charging thousands of dollars per month and there are companies charging a few hundreds of dollars per month.
Since you have already mentioned that you are a photographer, i'll suggest you to start learning the basics of SEO and setup your Google My Business (GMB).
Also, if you are a reputed photographer having many high paying clients then you can surely hire an agency to do SEO of your website.
Before hiring, always look at their past results, portfolio, client reviews.
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McCarthy
There are a ton of freelancers out there that do not deliver what they promize. And it's not their fault, except for they're telling you they can do something they can't. We often end up redoing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on any sites that come to us from a different person.
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Molina
Your best bet is to just study. Someone who knows what they are doing is gonna cost you. If you are a photography business you are going to need a somewhat basic site, and VERY good image optimization. This month Google has switched to "Mobile Only Indexing".
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Dave
Hi Vicky, I do my own SEO on my website, I use surferseo to assist me with my content as it compares all the top ranking websites and gives a great idea of keyword density and other factors to help me rank, most agencies will charge upwards of £300 per month and look for you to agree to 3-6 months minimum to make it work. This was not feasible for me so I decided to do my own. Day by day my ranks are getting stronger and I am ranking for more keywords. As others have said I would strongly recommend doing this in the first instance and going from there. Surfer also has a great community of people who all help each other.
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Michahu
$1000 CAD per month is absolute minimum for someone who knows what they are doing and for a niche that is low competition. Timeframe is 6 months to a year minimum to see the traffic begin to come in.
Photography is high competition but if you target the correct keywords you can target low competition. You need to find someone who can work with you who help you narrow it down.
If that budget is too high then learn to do it yourself. Lots of free resources online, or do a course.
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Marie
It really depends on your area and your competitors. I have had several photography clients and it was just a matter of on-page and no backlinks and it was easy to get the rankings to move. But it depends on what you already have going on and your area. You do need to learn enough about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that you are not scammed like others said above but not necessarily learning how to be a full-time SEO. If you get a bid too low like 300-600 run away! You can expect to pay anywhere from $1200 for a good SEO with a good plan behind them. But with that said you should need to pay it every single month for the rest of your life. With your field, it's easy to gain rankings and have them stick for a long time after about 3-4 months of work.
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SAUIPE Swimwear
I will agree with most here… I have hired agencies and individual freelancers (ranging anywhere from $500 to $1500 a month), and ultimately decided to tackle it on my own. The agencies actually did more harm than good with the poor backlinks and no strategy. SEO requires more than just using keywords.
I took an online training for $137, signed up for SEMrush for 3 months and after 3 – 4 months started seeing results I never saw before. Meaningful traffic that is actually generating sales. And I watch it often, making updates and improvements once every other week now.
I say DIY is the best option, at least in the beginning.

Olga » SAUIPE Swimwear
Thanks for recommendations

Stanley Sides
The most important thing about SEO is Keyword research,
Ah-refs keyword tool, they offer a $7 , 7 day trial before you go do it, Youtube Marcus Campbell keyword research with trigger words, you will learn how to get great traffic from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with out all the high competition.
Also I learned that buy Bing or Google AdWords Express will send traffic to your site and you can specifically only use keywords people are searching for, just do $10 a day for 3-7 days and it will give you a decent boost as long as people stay on your site, either way $40 on traffic gives you data and more of a boost than most people know, I once ranked a site on page one in the 5th position and the ad I ran really helped get me off page 2, and $40 is worth the traffic use [ ] around your keywords and even search your top competitors and use their main website for keywords this puts your ad at the top of the competition, good luck..

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This may satisfy you: To Image-Optimize for SEO

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